Defend Affirmative Action Party/Fighting for Immigrant Rights and Equality, or DAAP/FIRE, released its slate candidates running for ASUC office Tuesday.
DAAP/FIRE is a pro-immigration rights and pro-sanctuary city student coalition. A major platform shared by several candidates is to make Eshleman Hall a sanctuary for undocumented immigrants fleeing ICE raids and deportation. Students running for office include Stephanie Gutierrez, Ashley Carrillo, Abel De La Cruz, Reilani Gervacio, Isabel Penman, Xitlaly Garcia, Omar Flores and Cinthia Hernandez.
Gutierrez, a campus junior, ran for ASUC president twice in the past and is running again for ASUC president this year. Gutierrez hopes to make the ASUC the center of the campus immigrant and civil rights movements if elected. Gutierrez said she envisions a more equitable and socially conscious campus under her leadership.
“I want to harness the authority and resources of the ASUC to transform it from the narrower and more mundane role it currently plays in students lives (if at all), to become an organizing center of the student movement, to defend public education, and stand up for immigrant and civil rights for all who face oppression and discrimination,” Gutierrez said in an email.
Carrillo is a campus junior running for Executive Vice President and describes herself as a first-generation student, a Latinx woman and a transfer student.
Carrillo supports making Eshleman Hall a sanctuary for undocumented immigrants; doubling the number of underrepresented minority groups, such as Black and Latinx students, on campus; and eliminating the SAT and ACT requirement.
“We, the students of UC Berkeley, have the power to make UCB a model for universities nationwide in the fight for immigrant rights and equality,” Carrillo said in an email. “Together, we could make UC Berkeley a catalyst in the movement to fight against the Trump Administration, inspiring the world to follow in our footsteps.”
De La Cruz is running for both External Affairs Vice President and for senate.
De La Cruz also supports making Eshleman Hall a sanctuary for undocumented immigrants and those with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, status.
“I am running for the Transfer Representative seat as a first-generation transfer student from an immigrant, working-class Latinx and Native American family, I know the struggles of learning the university process on your own,” De La Cruz said in an email. “Elite universities like UC Berkeley can be isolating for students of marginalized identities, but the only way to overcome isolation is to build a movement to empower marginalized communities on campus.”
Gervacio, who is a campus sophomore running for Academic Affairs Vice President and senate, said she supports increasing funding to several humanities departments including African American studies, Asian American and Asian diaspora studies and Chicano studies, and doubling the number of underrepresented student minorities on campus.
She said it was important for students to be more educated about different cultures and lifestyles.
Penman, a campus freshman running for Student Advocate and senate, supports making the ASUC more autonomous from the UC Berkeley administration and having the ASUC conduct its own independent investigations of campus sexual harassment and hate crime cases. As a senator, Penman would support a cost-of-living adjustment, making Eshleman Hall a sanctuary for undocumented students and tuition reduction.
“I am running for Student Advocate because I believe the office has massive potential to mobilize ASUC resources to directly protect and defend the most marginalized and at-risk students on this campus,” Penman said in an email. “I am running to push for more direct and drastic action to be taken to solve these issues.”
Garcia, a campus freshman running for an ASUC Senate seat, said as a senator, she would support using ASUC resources to make Eshleman Hall a sanctuary for undocumented students and community members and increase the number of underrepresented minority students on campus. Flores, a transfer student running for an ASUC Senate seat, said he also supports this plan.
Additionally, Flores also supports increasing the number of Black, Latinx, Native American and LGBTQ+ students on campus so that student demographics better represent those of California.
Hernandez is a campus junior-transfer student and a mother running for a senate position. She wants to make resources for student-parents more widely accessible.
“Our party is unique because we recognize that students at UC Berkeley have a huge amount of historic social and political authority,” Gutierrez said in an email. “Because of that, we have a special obligation to lead in the interest of strengthening egalitarian social movements, and help to shape the outcome of social struggles.”